On April 28th 2018, workers at the Shop Direct Distribution Centre, employed by Logistex Limited carried out refurbishment works on the Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) when an accident occurred.
Workers had activated the emergency stop circuit, presuming this would prevent the machinery from operating. They then proceeded to replace sensors on the lift part of the equipment which weighed around 800kg.
The the control panel was switched on which caused the lift to drop. A worked trapped his foot between the lift and the frame of the truck he was standing on.
Emergency services were called out to the incident and fire and rescue service released him from beneath the lift. His injuries were so severe that his second and third toes had to be cut back to the knuckle. His other three toes required exploitative surgery to identify damage.
Oldham Council investigated the matter and found that refurbishment work had been inadequately planned and risk assessed. In particular it identified that work was being carried out whilst it still had power and had not been correctly isolated or locked out.
Oldham Council prosecuted the firm under Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and Regulation 3(1) (a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
Logistex Limited pleaded guilty to the two charges and was fined £12,000 for each offence, plus costs of over £8,000. An additional Victim surcharge of £170 was also added.
Proactive Implementation of Health and Safety Guidelines
This case highlights the need for electrical machinery to be correctly isolated and powered down. If correct procedures had been in place and followed, the likelihood of such an incident would be greatly reduced.
Had an in-depth risk assessment had taken place, it would have identified the need for Lockout procedures and equipment to have been used. Energising switches that could be accessed and operated caused the equipment to become unexpectedly re-energised whilst it was being worked on.
Lockout and Tagging Supplies
In reality, the pieces of Lockout and Tagging equipment needed to effectively lockout the control panel may have only cost a few pounds. There will be a cost Companies may be reluctant to go through risk assessment procedures as they may be seen as a waste of time. Especially when down time on machines reduces productivity.
Spectrum Industrial supply a wide range of both Electrical and Mechanical Lockout equipment. Simple to use, with the right guidelines put into place, Lockout equipment can avoid injuries, accidents and helps save lives.
Safety Site Surveys
We also offer Site Surveys where we can help identify any potential hazards and help companies put procedures and guidelines in place to avoid such accidents.
Find out more about our Safety Site Surveys here.